Mascot Change Process Underway

Recent community input regarding the district mascot change process and timeline at the Goshen Community School Board meeting on Tuesday, September 29, has sparked some community conversation regarding a possible change in the timeline for the mascot transition.

Cathie Cripe, school board president noted, “We recognize the decision to change the mascot has been difficult. We continue to appreciate the community’s engagement with the issue. The plans and the timeline defined in the July decision remain the same. The change will be effective January 1, 2016.”

A student-led steering committee of 25 student members is leading the process in defining a new mascot. A “submissions of ideas” window is currently open on the GCS website as a means of community involvement and input. Guidelines for the submission of ideas are available on the site. Five administrative and teaching staff members are working with the committee.

Cripe went on to note, “As a board we are proud of our students, their academic and co-curricular accomplishments, and how they conduct themselves. They are working diligently with our school leaders to create a broad and inclusive mascot identification process.”

District officials have noted that there will be changes in various facilities over the course of the next several months as the transition begins. The sequence and timing of these changes will follow a process of prioritization given the nature of the work, and the opportunities allowed through our academic and co-curricular calendar. Critical to this process is our effort not to disrupt athletic practices and competition dates.

When asked about uniforms, officials confirmed that multiple teams, currently and in the past, do not have reference or images to the “Redskins” mascot on their uniforms. For those programs, a change in uniforms is not an issue. For other programs, the athletic director and head coaches have worked together in defining a plan to either order new uniforms now, or wait until a new mascot is named.

Diane Woodworth, superintendent stated, “The mascot issue is difficult because people care about this school system and the work that is done. Regardless of where people stand, we all are proud of the hard work our students and staff are putting in to continue a tradition of excellence, while still moving our schools forward to a new era for Goshen. We take great pride in the many accomplishments of our students, musicians, and athletes, and we appreciate the quality educators in our district.”